Faeries don’t have to work

Dedicated to all my friends;
The young and those young at heart.

Copyright © 2010 Laszlo Kugler.
All rights reserved. This book contains material protected by Copyright. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying without the permission of the author.


It’s dark out there. I mean, really, really dark. I open the heavy front door and look out into the night, and if it wasn’t for the little light from behind me, I wouldn’t even be able to see my own hand. It’s as if someone turned off the world. No stars, no moon to light up the neighborhood.
The stark, gloomy darkness is tugging at my being like a black hole, trying to suck my soul into its unseen vortex. I gasp, feeling choking ebony fingers reaching out to caress me, to lull, to serenade me into stepping out into its beckoning icy grip.
Not a sound comes from the outside to tickle my ears, not even the whisper of a gentle breeze. I truly believe that if I stepped out past the front door, I would fall like Alice, down some bottomless pit.
With all my will and physical energy, I slam that door shut, and slowly, as in a nightmare, I struggle to go sit on the bare, wooden floor in the center of what looks like a family room.
No sofa, no carpet, not even a chair to sit on, just a cold hard floor in a dimly lit ten by twelve space.
Nail and screw holes are barely visible where curtains and the many pictures had once hung on the walls. All gone. I notice that even the ceiling fixtures are missing, replaced by a single bare bulb hanging down on a worn electric wire.
I feel faint, so I forcefully walk to the small kitchen to find that not only are there no cupboards, but the water has been turned off.
As I slowly walk back towards the living space, I see my reflection in the bare window pane, and I’m shocked at what I see. “That’s not me! I have a full set of hair, whereas the old man in the window is nearly bald and wrinkled like my old grandfather.” I look at my hands and see paper thin skin blotched with liver spots.
“What the hell is going on?” I scream out loud into the deafening silence that envelopes my total being; my total miserable being. The only sound is my panicky breathing, and the thumping of my frustrated and confused heart.
I fall down onto the floor and curl up in a fetal position, and start to cry uncontrollably.
After what seems like an eternity, I open my eyes to find that I’m getting hungry and my throat feels raw. My stomach aches as if it has been invaded and scrapped dry. I try to find my way back to the kitchen. Maybe this time, I’m hoping this time there will be some water to quench my terrible thirst, or at least to wash away this acrid taste on my tongue.
Now the tap is gone. I see an old pump in its place. The kind that you will still find on some ancient farms. The multi layers of chipped paint sings out its old age.
“I wonder if it will yield to me some relief,” I ask out loud, surprised that I still have a voice.
I pump the rusty handle and hear some gurgling far down deep inside its pipe.
Hope! I re-double my effort. The pump emits a squeak, squeak, squeaking noise, as I earnestly encourage it to be generous and allow me to have some its precious liquid.
As I struggle with this contraption, beads of sweat cover my body. They first nudge me gently. Then they become annoying in their effort to wake my dulling senses.
Now, along with this pestering, comes a faint buzzing sound.
“What’s going on? Someone please tell me. I'm totally confused. I want...I demand some answers!”
The sound gets louder: almost comprehensible.
A distant voice says, “Must be an overdose. Or someone has put something into his drink when he wasn’t watching. It happens much too often. This guy is a DOA, let’s just put that tag on his toe and leave. He's not going anywhere tonight. Besides, I’m already late for dinner. ”

I wake up soaked. “Thanks goodness that was only a nightmare, but it's still damn frightening. Oh, great, tomorrow I'm set to go hiking by myself and I don’t need these stupid dreams to follow me up into those woods. I don’t relish being in the deep forest all alone, in the middle of the night and having to deal with this; it’s bad enough to have them here at home. Maybe by some miracle I can leave them behind and enjoy the wilderness as I always have in the past.

Chapter One

The outing that I did not expect

I love to go hiking by myself. There’s nothing more satisfying than to explore our grand forests, especially the very old ones, such as the ones here on our west coast.
It’s easy to get lost in them, whether it’s physically or in our imagination. Such woods hold magic in themselves, which we cannot even begin to realize.
I, myself, don’t get lost. With a good map of the area, and also, being skilled at using a compass, has kept me safe, with no unpleasant surprises.
It’s a beautiful August day and I venture into the grand forest just east of Forks Washington, where I happen to be visiting a friend.
With my backpack filled with enough necessities to sustain me for about a week or more, and my pup tent strapped to it, I start out my trek around daybreak.
I find a dirt road wide enough for my old Jeep, Nellybelle, and I drive her until the path becomes way too narrow to go any further.
With my burden on my back I head into the unknown, hoping for adventure…the unusual. Little do I know what is waiting for me.
During the last three hours, I saw a deer shyly bounding away gracefully, a crazed red squirrel telling me to get lost, and an assortment of bugs, beetles and other flying insects... all of which fascinate me extremely. Maybe that’s why I love these overnight hikes.
Not too long later, I find the perfect spot to pitch my small tent.
The place is an open, flat area overlooking a huge lake. This lake is not on any of the maps that I have with me. Maybe the surveyor somehow missed it.
Ere long the tent is up. I gather some dried wood for a fire which I plan on using later on that night. There is something mesmerizing about an open fire. I could just stare at its flames forever.
I take out my camera and snap a few shots of this Eden-like spot before the light becomes too dim.
Night falls quickly, but I have already eaten and I’m merely watching the last rays of our sun sliding away beneath the distant waves.
Sweet smoke funnels up from the campfire to fill the warm mid-summer’s air. The popping and crackling coming from within the flames breaks the silence, only to be challenged by the sound of tiny waves lapping the shore.
Ah ! This is the life. No cars and trucks honking and roaring by endlessly. No screaming, yelling, angry people confronting each other. No TV commercials telling me what I need. Only the peace which the Almighty gave Adam and Eve: and this is it…in all its glory.
Behind me I hear some rustling coming from the bush… probably some raccoon or skunk foraging for food. Overhead, a little ways away, I hear the hoot of a night owl, then the lonely cry of a loon echoing from the lake and the croaking of dozens of frogs which interrupt the stillness of this enchanted, lazy evening. Yet, oddly I hear no sound of insects.
As I’m poking at the charcoal, I hear laughter. Although faint, it nevertheless is clearly someone giggling. My ears must be playing tricks on me. Might be that after my long trek, I’m so tired that I’m starting to imagine voices. I shake my head to clear it. For a few long minutes there is silence. I hear nothing else, along with the eerie absence of tiny critters, such as crickets or katydids… total silence, except for that crackling of the fire and the splashing waves. “Odd. Where have all the other night sounds disappeared to?” I say out loud.
“Who is that?” I ask.
“Me,” answers the tiny voice.
“Me...who? Show yourself.”
I nearly fall backward, when this small flying creature comes and hovers in between me and the flickering fire.
“Me! “She yells. “I’m Melissa. Some call me Mel the Mischievous.”
She is about six inches tall, or less, with long raven dark hair and pointed ears. Gossamer wings are keeping her afloat right in front of my unbelieving eyes.
“This is not possible. Maybe I’ve eaten something bad, and I’m surely hallucinating all of this.”
She flies over to me and proceeds to bite me on my arm.
“Ouch! Hey, that hurts!”
“So…do you still think that I’m a dream or an apparition?”She asks me.
“Well…I’m not sure. But it did hurt. I don’t know what to think.”
“Shall I bite you again?”
“No, no, once is enough.”I tell her. “And why the sudden silence?”
I can’t believe that I’m having this conversation.
“Well, genius, what do you think we live on… air? Our main diet is insects…especially crunchy crickets. Very nutritious. Tons of protein, too. Moths are too messy. We only have those when really needed. And we also eat berries and an assortment of fruits“
“I like beetles,” pipes up a tiny voice from a pine branch somewhere above me.
“Hush, Wanda! No one is talking to you.” Mel calls out. “He’s mine. So keep your distance…or else!”
I ask reluctantly, “You guys fight each other? Don’t you get hurt?”
“We always fight, but never to the point of permanently hurting one another. Well…except the time I broke a wing.”
“So, what did you do about it?”
“No big deal, except for all the stupid paperwork which needed to be filled out. I hate all those forms!”
“Sure. We are not merely some disorganized bunch of tiny flying creatures. Our clan is made up of twenty five members. And each clan has a head …that would be me. At least till the next election, in five years.
The paperwork is submitted to the Grand Faerie. She resides over twenty five clans. Vespa was voted in two years ago, and her term is good for another twenty three years. All paperwork and requisitions go directly to her office. We don’t mess with her, ‘cuz she’s a lot bigger than any of us.”
“How many of you are…here, right this minute?” I ask.
“Maybe a dozen or so.
All of us stick together…at least a yelling distance away.”
“What did you mean when you said ’He’s mine’?”
“Oh...nothing. It’s just means that I claim you for myself…that’s all.”
“And…what does that entail, may I ask? Do I get three wishes? Or does that mean I get a pot of gold? Are you like some genie in a bottle?”
“Hahaha! That’s so funny. No…none of that. Those are only fantasy folklores. This is reality.” She laughs, doing somersaults in mid air.
“Well then…?”
“Ok, I am to be your companion, and a kind of guru, when you need me. I know a lot about many things. I can keep you safe from all types of harm. My instinct lets me know when something bad is about to befall you. And…also I can keep your pets and plants company when you’re at work or away.
I’ll also laugh at your jokes, smile when you are happy, and cry with genuine sympathetic tears, when you are sad.”
“What if one of my friends spots you?” I inquire of this tiny beauty.
“They can’t see me, only you…unless you tell me to become visible to them.”
“So, when do you begin?”
“Before I actually become yours, relatively speaking, there are papers to be filled out.”
“Forms! What’s with all these forms?”
“Just procedure…that’s all. A formality, stating certain rules and regulations, and questions, such as…your physical description, age, background, likes, dislikes, education, hobbies, dreams, and fears, etc.
You must also promise to treat me well. Not abuse me in any way. And in return I promise to do likewise…and if I get an uncontrollable urge to bite, I will do so with the least discomfort as possible.
Oh yes, one more thing…very important…faeries don’t have to do work. That’s the law; written and otherwise.”
“Interesting. Ok, so where and when do I sign?”
“I’ll bring the forms to you later, or tomorrow. By the way…what is your name?” she asks me.
I tell her that it’s Calvin, as I stick out my right hand to her. She lands lightly on my other open hand, and stands there grinning broadly, as she extends her own tiny hand.
“Hi, Cal. Nice to make your acquaintance and to allow my imprint on you.”
Now that she is not hovering, but is standing still, I get the chance to really see what she looks like. She has a short forest green tunic that fits her nicely. No shoes or sandals or any fancy ornaments. Just some beads woven into two braids on each side of her pixie face. Her bright emerald eyes complement her long dark hair and tawny complexion.
She allows me to touch her naked shoulder. It feels warm and soft, much like a grown woman, but, so much smaller. If she was the size of a full grown person, I could easily fall in love with her looks right this instance.
“What are you thinking of, Cal? Do tell.”
“Oh, nothing too important. Say, are you able to make yourself bigger? You know, like five foot plus.”
She gives me this odd look and says, “We can talk about that at a later date.” Then she becomes quiet…but only for a moment.
She is now sitting on my knee like a tiny kitten, jabbering away a mile a minute.
The night sky overhead is twinkling with billion stars… truly an awesome sight. It makes me feel so insignificant…so tiny. The moon is floating just over the lake, threatening to dive into its depths any moment soon.
Other than the rippling sound of the waves striking the rocky shore, the only other sound belongs to this wee creature, still telling me just about anything and everything that pops into her tiny head.
“No, we don’t reside here all year round. We migrate south as the weather cools. We sleep whenever we’re tired. Eat when the urge comes. Some of us like berries over bugs. Others prefer nuts.”
“I like worms!” a voice from above shouts out.
“Hey, Wanda, clam up and stop eavesdropping on our conversation…okay? Go away!”
“That’s Wicked Wanda. She’s called that because she loves to tease humans…especially males.”
“You have all these weird names for each other, why?” I ask.
“Mainly because it identifies us…makes us individuals. Take for instance, Mad Marsha. She fell asleep under a toadstool one night with her mouth open, and some of the spores fell into her mouth during the night. The effect on her became permanent. Don’t worry…she’s not dangerous…but never mention the wart on her nose.
Now, there’s Rosie the Red. She has flaming red hair and a smattering of freckles all over her body.
There’s Tess theTinkler. Be careful of her. If she lands on you, she will leave a wet spot on you…on purpose.”
As Mel finishes relating this to me, I hear laughter coming from a nearby bush.
Just about then, the moon sinks out of sight, and the stars become even brighter.
I get curious, so I inquire of my tiny new found friend, “Mel, I notice that you, although small in stature, look complete in every way, maybe with the exception of those large pointed ears. Do you possess…um…how can I put it delicately…?”
She, sensing what I was about to ask, said, “Don’t ask, Cal.”
“Do you have…?”
“We’ll talk about that when the time comes. So forget about it for now. Ok?”
To change the subject, she asks me what I’m drinking.
I tell her that it’s beer.
“I never had that, but I tried wine a long time ago. It made me sneeze so hard that I slammed into a tree. Ever tried flying or hovering while sneezing hard a dozen times or so?”
“No. Maybe beer won’t have the same effect on you as did the wine. Willing to try a sip?”
She holds onto the rim of my glass, as I tilt it towards her. She cautiously brings her face up to the foamy broth, takes a small sip at first, and then almost sticks her whole head into the brew.
“That’s great! Can I have some more?” she begs me.
“I think that should do for tonight…maybe tomorrow. First we need to see if it will have any adverse effect on you.” I tell her.
She is not too pleased, and looks as if she is ready to bite me again.

The fire is dwindling down to a few glowing embers, and I’m getting very sleepy. So, I crawl into my tent and get ready to hit the old sleeping bag.
Mel flitters in and hovers just above my pillow. I roll up my jacket and place it near my sleeping bag at an arm’s length from my pillow.
I leave a tiny light suspended from the tent ceiling, so that if I needed to go out to ease nature, I won’t be stumbling around in the dark.
Almost as soon as I bid Mel goodnight, I hear something that resembles a kitten purring. I look over and see Mel curled up in my jacket, softly snoring and fast asleep without a single care in the world.

Chapter Two

An incident at the lake

Morning comes early. The diffused sunlight which penetrates the orange canopy of my three man tent, gives the inside of it a warm tone…magical, with soft shadows.
I unzip the door flap and step outside. Stretch and inhale the pure crisp morning air. It’s intoxicating. I almost overdose on its freshness.
The weatherman had promised another warm and sunny day.
As I’m about to take a dip in the lake, I hear a small voice say, “Good morning, Cal. Did you sleep well?” I completely forgot about last evening’s events. They were so unusual that I thought that it was a dream…you know the beer, fresh air and this magical surrounding area. But no… seeing her now, standing, stretching and yawning as she steps out of my tent, brings me suddenly back to reality. And I say this reluctantly. Yet, there she is…just about half a foot high, pointed ears and all. Melissa…’Mel the Mischievous’.
“Well, good morning to you too.”I tell her. “How did you sleep? You were so quiet, I forgot that you were even there.”
“Can I have your jacket?”
“Why?” I laugh. “It’s way too big for you.”
“Not to wear, silly…to sleep in. I love it… and who knows, maybe one day I’ll wear it too.”
Just as I’m ready to go for a dip, she warns me to be on the lookout for the creature that lurks in this part of the lake.
“Creature! What are you saying?”
“The giant otter…about ten feet long…he’s nasty…very territorial. Doesn’t like strangers, especially faeries. Although you are the first human here in ages, so he may leave you alone. But I wouldn’t take that chance, if I were you, Cal.”
“So what am I to do? I need to bathe. I thought that a nice swim may not only cleanse me, but I’ll get some exercise at the same time.”
Just then, she calls out in a loud voice, “Hey Rambo! Can you scout the area for that pesky otter? Right away! Okay?”
“Rambo?” I look at her inquisitively.
“That’s Freddie. ‘Fearless Freddie’. He loves it when we call him Rambo. He works out and struts around real macho like. Had a crush on me…but he’s not my type. Eventually he met Wordie. That is her actual name. She loves to write and quote poetry. Those two are a number now …and now he leaves me be.”
Freddie zips off like a flash, and in three minutes is back, reporting that the coast is clear. The monster is at the far end of the lake.
I thank him and he flits away.
“Mel? Please turn and face the other way. I haven’t brought me swimsuit, because I wasn’t expecting company up here. So turn away while I slip into the water…ok?”
“Sure, whatever you say.”
Never trust a faerie, because as soon as I have my boxers off and ready to plunge, I hear a wolf whistle coming from Mel… the little bugger.
As I’m swimming further out I feel something land softly on my head. I immediately know who it is. “Nice view.” She says.
“Yes, it’s a beautiful lake, isn’t it? And the fall colors are beginning to show.”
She laughs, “I’m talking about your behind.”
“Fresh girl. Stop it, or get off!”
Suddenly she screams out, “Freddie, come quick. I need you now…hurry!”
I see and hear a disturbance a few yards off towards the middle of the lake.
Freddie is here in a flash. “It’s the giant otter! I thought that this place only had one. Cal, turn around and quickly head back to shore. I will do my best to distract it.”
I turn, and frantically begin swimming as never before. I don’t quite relish being chewed on by some prehistoric giant rodent.
Mel is yelling…or more like cursing. Then suddenly she dives and disappears under the wake. Rambo is hovering above the monster, trying to veer it off its destination…me.
Just as quickly as it occurred, the pursuit is off. The water behind me calms. There’s no sign of Mel, when I finally climb out of the lake, exhausted and spent. I wait for a minute or two, and then I start to really worry. Freddie and the others assure me that their friend is capable of taking care of herself. And she can swim like a fish, holding her breath for a long time.
What seems like an eternity passes by and yet still no sign of my tiny new found friend.
Then out of the water shoots this streak of green. As she nears, I see Rambo hauling his tiny behind in the opposite direction. I guess he’s not up to being scolded…or bitten. I don’t blame him.
She tells us that the creature pursued her until it became exhausted. At that moment, she swung around his massive body and took a large bite off its tail. “The idiot then proceeded to try to snap at me and in doing so bit his own tail even harder than me. What a moron! That was fun…the best I’ve had in a long time.”
“Thanks, Mel, but you did not have to risk your own life like that.” I tell her.
“But I did save your sorry white butt, didn’t I? And…speaking of which…”
I look down, and quickly don my boxer shorts. There’s giggling from all the tiny folks, as I blush crimson.
“And…I like worms,” says Wanda from up above me. Laughter then breaks out even harder, as Mel lands on my shoulder to comfort me.
Wordie is off to find her escaped loved one…’Fearless Freddie’.
Back near the tent, as I ‘m about to have my ham sandwich and coffee, Mel is sitting on a log, watching me. “Want a bite?” I ask her.
“No thanks Cal, but that workout in the lake did make me hungry.” As she says this, faster than the blink of an eye, she reaches behind her and comes up holding a large black juicy cricket. In no time she has the head bitten off, the wing and casing removed, and she is happily munching on what was rest of it. Using one of its back legs as a tooth pick, she smiled and patted her tummy. “Boy that was yummy! Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Yuck, you just devoured a cricket.” I say as I make a face.
“Oh…and you humans don’t eat food like…let’s say…sushi, steak tartar, raw oysters, snails, shrimp, octopus, and ova that come out of a fowl’s behind? Should I go on? Some of you eat worm pies also.”
I was expecting to hear Wanda chime up, but she must also be off somewhere foraging for her own breakfast.
“Ok…I get your point. Who am I to judge…maybe if I tried cricket, I would like it. But not right now.”
“What would you like to do today? We could go for another swim later.”
“No, maybe tomorrow. What about that thing in the water?”
“He won’t bother us any more. Knows best to stay clear.”
I tell her that I will try my luck at fishing…it should be safer in a rubber raft, than in the water. “Are there any fish in this lake?’
“All kinds…and I can help you locate them…ok?”
Later that morning, along with my tiny flesh and blood fish finder, I head out to the lake.
By early afternoon, I’m frying a nice large wide-mouth bass. The aroma is wonderful, and the taste is even better. I’ve caught enough to feed our small band. Although most prefer to eat the fish raw, some do like my cooking. Wordie and Freddie are sitting on a branch above us, sharing the cheeks of that bass, and nuzzling each other every so often. I find that so cute. Mel is watching them, looking a tad envious…at least that’s what I think. She flies over to me and sits on my shoulder and puts her tiny face against my neck and sighs.
For the rest of the afternoon I explore this Eden-like place, taking many photos. I wonder if any of the pictures of these faeries will transfer onto my hard drive at home, or will they be missing.
As the sun is dipping below the trees, we sit there, the smoke of our fire ascending high above us…it’s so serene. There are still no sounds from the insects, although frogs and night birds sing their melodies, praising the Creator for their existence and this local habitat.
“Mel…how old are you? You don’t look much more than twenty.”
“I don’t know…never did and never bothered to find out. Is it important?” She asks.
“Most likely not. But it’s the human way…we divide everything up into sections, such as time, land, the world, our possessions…and sadly, our lives also. Do you know approximately?”
“Well, let me think. The first time I ventured into a large city, I remember that instead of cars, folks were being pulled about in carriages. Does that give you a hint?”
“Good lord! You must be over one hundred! Wow! Now I feel so young.”
“We are educated too. Not some back woods critters…wait, we are back wood critters…but we read and love to learn.” She chuckles.
I was beginning to like my Mel…’Mel the Mischievous’ more and more every minute.

Chapter Three

The adventure of Tina and Carmine

That evening I learned more about the delightful lives of these woodland creatures. Mel told me how she and others manage to enter a city without anybody being suspicious as to who they really are. Mel trusted me enough to relate that they would transform themselves into humans and simply walk into town, and try to blend in, keeping away from areas that may pose a risk.
She tells me, “Tina the Tomboy and her male friend Carmine went to Seattle out of curiosity around the mid sixties. They met some friendly hippies and decided to stick around with them for a couple of months, which ended up much longer…more like five years.
From Seattle, the group bummed a ride down to San Francisco, where the action was.
With the little money they had, and what they were able to obtain from begging and busking, they bought ‘groovy’ clothes such as bell-bottom hip hugging jeans, beads and flowery shirts. Carmine proudly sported a loose sleeved paisley patterned shirt.
Tina wore a rainbow colored, very wide dress, with sandals, that laced right up to her knees. Carmine also followed the latest fashion and walked about wearing authentic, east Indian, J.C. boots. (Leather sandals…for all you un-hip folks.)
Carmine let his blond hair grow down past his shoulders, keeping it in place with a colorful head band, brandishing a proud peace sign logo.
They got familiar with the fast-growing hippie culture; such things as Head shops, psychedelic posters, black lights, and music for the body and soul. And…transcendental meditation.
Above all, let’s not forget the mind altering drugs such as marijuana, hash and LSD…thanks to Timothy Leary.
This was the new revolution…peace, free love, draft card burning, and basically…hell to war…especially the one in Viet Nam.
Soon protests were organized and Tina and her boyfriend got caught up in that movement in no time flat.
In January 1967 between twenty and thirty thousand youths convened at the Golden Gate Park for a ‘Human Be-In’… a place not far from the famous Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Their wish originally was to be in attendance at the mass peace rally that was held at the capital at the foot of the Washington Monument, which occurred approximately eight months earlier. Ten thousand gathered there in front of the White House, for a somewhat noisy but peaceful protest.
For the next two years after that, most of Tina and Carmine’s life was lived in a blue haze.
Then, in August of 1969, those two hitched a ride to Upper New York State, where many hippies and week-end hippies were heading. It was at a place now simply known as Woodstock. Over thirty bands were to perform for about twenty thousand, but that three day love-in grew closer to half a million strong. There was love in the air, and many of today’s population were conceived there.
Tina and Carmine said that it was ‘far out’ and ‘heavy’…those are their very own words.
After that mind blowing three days, their small group headed into town. The locals were not friendly at all…called them all sorts of names, and told them to leave.
Just outside of that place the small group of eight set up camp and were just relaxing and singing around the fire, when two ‘pigs’, as they called policemen back then, came to investigate. Paranoia is no stranger to dope heads high on hash. So, sensing trouble the group split up and ran in all different directions.
Tina and Carmine fled into a nearby wooded patch, being pursued by one of the law officers. Panicking, and not seeing a way out, they changed back into their true forms and flew out of there at a high speed…straight back to this place…never setting foot back into civilizations again. That policeman had a lot of trouble explaining why he found only two set of clothes, but not their occupants that night. Today that rookie cop, by the name of Ryan Boswell, is enjoying his retirement near the Mediterranean, on the coast of France. Even now, he’s still scratching his head, not understanding how two grown people could simply vanish into thin air, leaving all their clothes behind.
Tina and Carmine are still with us today. They wear similar clothes to what they did back in the late sixties. I’ll have to introduce you to them tomorrow…they haven’t changed a bit.”

Now she is sitting cross legged on a nearby log, mesmerized by the flickering fire. There is something about a crackling fire that allows a person to simply forget everything else for that moment. All worldly cares vanish and melt into those flames.
It is getting late, and although the moon is nowhere to be seen, the stars are putting on a magnificent display, along with the appearance of the occasional shooting star as a bonus.
Mel flitters into the tent and starts to drag my jacket a little closer to where my pillow is.
“You don’t mind, do you, Cal?” She asks.
I see her struggling with her heavy burden and I lend a hand. “Why the shift? I thought you slept well enough where you were last night.”
“Yes I did, but I only wish to be a little closer. That’s all.”
After readjusting her bedding…my jacket, I ask her, “So…from what you have told me earlier, can all of you morph into humans? I know you’ve done it, from what you told me about that time when you saw the horse and buggies. Is it easy to do?”
“Not hard…takes some concentration. I’ve done it maybe about a dozen times…never needed to do so more often than that.” She says this as she bids me ‘goodnight’ and curls up in her newly located ‘bed’.
I watch her for awhile. In no time she is purring, fast asleep, and looking so peaceful.
I lie there recapping all of yesterday and today’s events, still finding it hard to believe.
Sleep overcomes me soon enough, but not before I feel something like a butterfly’s wing brush my cheek.

Chapter Four

The dream

I’m running on a pure white sandy strand. The sky above me is azure blue, with nary a cloud in sight. The sun is energizing my skin as I effortlessly dash along that beach…my feet barely touch the ground, and I hardly break a sweat. The air is pure and salty here next to the emerald green waves of the ocean.
As I speed along, I detect an invisible presence moving…keeping up next to me…shadowing my every step.
I reach out my hand towards it, and my fingers tingle, as I hear a buzzing …like a faint electric crackling sound. There is also a shimmering…not unlike when you see heat rising from a hot surface…like what you see emanating off the hood of a car, in the mid July heat.
I dive into the refreshing sea, and swim out far from the shore. Overhead, sea terns and gulls wing gracefully…circling effortlessly, held aloft on that warm summer’s breeze.
As I swim, once again I feel a presence…odd and unseen. Ignoring it I continue further out, leaving the palm-treed shoreline far in the distance.
Suddenly, without warning, I see two dark objects speeding in my direction. I’ve seen these before. Large mammals with gleaming eyes…twin otters speeding swiftly, as if flying towards me. “This is not good.” I tell myself, as I turn to try to make my way back to the safety of the distant shore.
Then, about ten yards ahead of me, comes a large porpoise, blue in color, sailing clear out of the water. It has a young woman straddled on its back. With long black hair cascading down her side and back, she reminds me of a famous painting… ‘Lady Godiva’. But instead of a white stallion, this apparition is gracefully mounted on a large blue fish.
She beckons me to hop on behind her, which I do without any hesitation. This large fish easily outswims those menacing threats.
Back on the safety of terra firma, I look at this beauty standing before me, and recognize her green eyes immediately. “Mel…is this you? You’re gorgeous!” I tell her.
She turns a shade of pink as she continues to stand motionless and in utter silence. Her long hair drapes her tawny figure modestly.
Then without further ado, she plunges back into the ocean and disappears under the rolling waves.
Saddened that she has left so quickly without giving me the chance to thank her properly, I renew my morning run.
Erelong, I come upon a couple sitting under a large tree. The fellow resembles a young Sly Stallone, and she looks somewhat eastern, with lovely olive-toned skin that complements her raven black hair.
As I pass, I notice that she is reading poetry to her friend. They wave and I return the gesture.
Soon they are only a blur - two merged dots in the distance.

“Wake up Cal.” I hear a tiny voice calling next to my ear. “You’ve been talking in your sleep. And your legs were moving as if you were running a race. Look at you…all sweaty. Go freshen up at the lake, and come back and tell me all about your dream.”
I look into those mischievous eyes of hers, and ask, “Can you…did you manipulate my dream?”
All she says to me, while looking bashfully away, “Go and get cleaned up… and I’ll get myself something to eat.”And she zips off, catching the churr of an errant grasshopper or cicada.

Chapter Five

Getting to know Mel and her friends

After my dip and breakfast, I was getting some rays, when Mel shows up holding a single light blue morning glory in her hands. It’s big enough to fit her head like a large hat. “It’s for you, Cal. I picked it myself. Take it…it is heavy.”
“Why, thanks, but what’s the occasion?”
“Oh, it’s for being a friend…that’s all.”
“Where are the others? I haven’t heard a peep from them since last evening.”
They’re still sleeping. They had a party not too far from here. Dancing and singing…you know the usual thing that we do when the moon is full.”
I say to her, “Why weren’t you with them, celebrating also? They’re your friends.”
“I prefer to be here with you. Besides you’re more interesting, and I’ve celebrated each full moon now for over a century. I’m sure that I didn’t miss anything different.”
“That is so nice.” I tell her as I smell the flower.”But tell me more about how you manipulated my dream.
Many times I wake out of a great dream and I wish to continue it, but that never happens. Or, sometimes I try hard to remember certain details of it…but it’s lost forever, somewhere in the dusty corridors of my mind.”
She comes closer and lies down on my outstretched legs, using my knees for a pillow. Then with her arms behind her head, she says, “It’s quite easy. All that it is, is simply the power of suggestion. While you were fast asleep, and you entered the R.E.M. stage of your sleep, which is the time when people dream the best, I approached your ear and…how can I explain it most clearly? …I painted a scenario in your unconscious mind, and included myself in it.”
“Wow! It seemed so real, and I remember all of it. That’s so great, Mel, a bit disturbing, but great.”
She beams with delight, and claps her tiny hands.
I put the funnel-like flower on her head, and she gets up and does a small pirouette, laughing like a child with a new toy.
“Later on, why don’t you bring your tiny family circle over so that I can get to know them better? And I really would love to meet Tina and Carmine. They sound fascinating. I want to hear more of their sixties escapades.”
“Okey, dokey, It’ll be my great pleasure.”
By noon I have had enough sun tanning. I pull out a beer from the tent cooler and sit back to enjoy the scenery.
Out of nowhere Mel flies in. “You got beer? Can I have a sip?”She asks.
“You’re too young. Are you sure that you are of the legal drinking age?” I tease, knowing well that she is, and then some.
She smiles sweetly and alights on my shoulder and bites my neck, and flies off to that big pine tree above me, and sits with her arms folded in front of her, looking a bit miffed.
“Mel. I was just playing with you. So don’t be angry. Come down and I’ll give you a capful.”
Like a bullet she is down and hovering in front of me and the opened bottle of brew.
“I was just pretending too.” She says, as she sticks her tongue out at me.
After having drunk the capful, I tell her to round up some of the others, and invite them to come over here.
She nods and flies off toward their location. I perceive that her flight is not as true as it usually is.
An hour later, along with about a dozen others, she appears over the lake. They look like a flock of birds on the horizon over the lake, yet all different in shape and size…and all very colorfully dressed. Instantly I’m able to spot Tina and Carmine.
“What took you so long?” I inquire.
“Well, they weren’t ready, so I took a nap…and it wasn’t because of the beer.” She lies.
For the rest of the day, I get to know them all.
I tell them to return later when I’m to light a bonfire.
“Bring your musical instruments, so that I can enjoy listening to some of your melodies.”
Later that afternoon I gather more driftwood along the shore for the fire. Mel is helping. She’s toting a twig the size of my pinky, looking pleased that she can contribute.
I decide to cool off and at the same time wash off all the dirt that clung to me while hauling the fuel for our fire.
While making my way out, away from shore, Mel dives under the water and emerges next to me a few hundred yards away from where she submerged.
“How do you do that…holding your breath for that length of time? And what’s your record under?” I ask her.
“The longest that I did was forty minutes…but who’s counting? It’s not hard. I can teach it to you in a few minutes.” She says proudly.
For the next five minutes she explains the technique, and I find out that it all has to do with positive thinking.
I dive down and follow her as she virtually flies under the waves. She is as graceful as a penguin swimming tirelessly. Before I even notice, I’m under for a good ten minutes, and still not straining. I think that it’s more than what she tells me. She must have put a little of her pixie magic on me.
“Great, Calvin! See, with a bit of concentration…and my coaching, you’ll be able to accomplish just about anything.”
I jokingly ask if I can become as small as her. She replies immediately, “Why sure…that’s even easier than what you’re doing now.”
I’m stunned. I stop swimming and look at her grinning. “You’re just pulling my leg…aren’t you?”
“Why would I do that?”She replies somewhat puzzled. “I told you that I’m here for you, and I can teach you many things.”

Chapter Six

Dancing around the campfire.

As the evening light dims over our little piece of heaven, I light the fire. Mel wants to blow out the match but I caution her not to. It may catch her delicate wings on fire. Then it will be more paperwork to fill out to receive a new set.
Soon the little people start arriving…more than before. Mel starts to introduce them one by one as they flitter in.
“I hope I can remember them all,” I tell her, as she beckons each in turn to come over.
“This is Sabrina. We call her the Littlest Witch. She loves to put mild spells on us as a joke.
That there…you already met Tina and Carmine. Also, Wicked Wanda, Wordie and of course Fearless Freddie, aka ‘Rambo’.
This is Rosie the Red, whom I mentioned before. Don’t you just love those freckles?
Careful…here comes Mad Marsha…remember what I said about her wart?
This is Darling Donna. She is truly the sweetest of us all.”
“I extend my hand and say, “Please to meet you Donna.” She flies over, curtseys and kisses my cheek instead.
“Now, these here are Samantha and Amanda…we just call them the Twins. They are so alike in many ways that they even finish each other’s sentences.
“Nice to meet you Calvin. Mel told us a lot…”Samantha says.
“about you. She just can’t stop telling us all the things you two talk about.”Amanda finishes.
“Oh, I told you about Tess the Tinkler. Tess this is Cal. He’s my friend. Don’t you go near him. Ok?” Tess draws near, but keeps her distance. I can see that it’s taking a lot of concentration for her not to come closer.
“This is Simple Simon. He’s far from simple. In your world he would be what you would call a nerd…we tease him with that name, knowing very well that he is far from being simple.
Hey Jerry, come over and meet Cal…but no joking around…at least not tonight.
And here comes Cookie. No one knows his real name. This is the best chef we ever had. ‘Say hi’ Cookie.
This is Crazy Chester. He fell asleep on the hottest day of last summer, and fried his tiny brain…heat stroke…he’s harmless, and is coherent most of the time.
The one responsible for all our clothes is Tim…you guessed it…the Tailor.
And that chubby fellow walking is our own Doc. He’s the one who we keep busy because of our minor scrapes and bruises, and the occasional broken wing. Those glasses on him are not prescription. He just wears them to give him a more dignified appearance.”
I said, “Hi Doc. Thanks for coming. I see that you brought your fiddle. Great.”
“There are more of us, but many are away, visiting distant relatives…cousins, over by the other clans.
As soon as they are all here, it takes no time before the festivities begin. Out come the fiddles, penny whistles, drums and tiny accordions. A few had tambourines attached to their belts.
With the moon and myriad of stars above and the lovely fire down here below, the faeries begin to hold hands and dance in a circle around the flames.
From here and there I see many drinking out of tiny flasks.
I ask Mel what it is that they’re enjoying. “That’s honey mead…like a mild, sweet wine. I like it, but now I prefer beer. Do you have any?”
I go into my tent for some beer and come back to sit beside the fire. Mel is eagerly hovering close by, when I snap the tab on the can. The spray shoots up unexpectedly and hits her. She begins to lick the beer running down her face and her arms, not wishing to waste any of that precious brew. I give her only half of the amount that she had the last time.
The dancing and singing seems to be ready to last the whole night long.
Finally, not being able to keep my eyes open, I crawl into my sleeping bag, and listen to the merriment just outside. It’s well past the wee hours of the morning, and the laughter and singing are still going strong. I even heard someone yell,” Hey Tess, stop that!”
In no time I am fast asleep. Mel is nowhere in sight.

Chapter Seven

The lessons

Exactly at daybreak, I’m awakened by the sound of a dull thud on the canvas top of my tent. This is followed by a small voice crying “Ouch!”
I go outside to see what’s going on, and I find Mel sprawled out face down on the roof of the tent.
“Where have you been? The last time I saw you, you were dancing around the fire. Then you disappeared. Did you run off with someone?” I ask her. To which she gets up with some difficulty and flies to about six inches from my face and yells, “What? How can you even say such a thing! I…I pledged myself to you, Calvin…ow…my head hurts. Remind me to not mix honey mead with beer next time,” she says while holding the sides of her head with both hands. “I need to lie down for a bit…ok?
And…to where I was last night…somehow I ended up in this tree and slept in an empty robin’s nest. Good thing that it was empty, or else a mother bird would have been my blanket. Stinking birds!”
As she enters the tent, I notice that the insects around here have resumed their chirping. Maybe they know that all the faeries are sleeping in today, and aren’t a threat.
I take my usual morning dip, after which I start breakfast. The fresh coffee aroma mixed with the scent of pine in the air makes me wish not to have to return to the dirty old city. I have about five days left to enjoy this Eden.
Near eleven Mel emerges, looking a lot better. She excuses herself and is off. The cacophony of insect sounds ceases almost immediately.
On returning, and looking satisfied, she asks, “Cal, do you wish to start on your first lesson?”
“Lesson…which one is that?” I ask.
“You know…the one where you can reduce your size to match mine. That will take some practice and time. Now… to acquire wings…that’s another story.
“Oh…I thought that you were just kidding. Can I really do that?” ”As I told you yesterday…’If you believe, you can do almost anything you wish for’.”
The day passes without too much being accomplished, but suddenly I feel something that I never felt before in all my living days.
My very molecules are being re-aligned. I feel strangely pleasant, yet totally odd. I’m shrinking. All around me, everything which used to be normal, is getting bigger.
“You’re doing great.” Mel tells me. “Soon you will be my size. Isn’t that wonderful?”
In a just a few minutes later, which seemed a lot longer, I’m standing before my tiny pixie friend… but this time only an inch or two taller than her.
Mel squeals with delight, as she flings herself at me, embracing and kissing my neck, running her fingers through my hair.
I, in return, feel strangely attracted to her, now that I’m her size. She looks even more gorgeous now, than when I looked at her with larger eyes.
“I’d better leave now. You will need some clothes…can’t have you running around like that. I’ll see if I can persuade Tim the Tailor to sew you up something quick. He is the laziest faerie I know.
And, you keep practicing. Tomorrow we will try to get you a set of wings.”
Off she flies, while I change back to my normal size.

Chapter Eight

Learning to fly

The next day around noonish, and wearing something that looks like it’s from a Peter Pan play, I’m back to being seven inches. I practice all morning and I have to admit that I’m getting the hang of it. Big, small, big, small. The only problem is that when I’m ready to become normal size each time, I must step out of the wee costume, as I call it, or else it gets ripped. Mel had the foresight to bring a couple of sets.
I see her coming so I quickly make myself tiny once more. She is carrying a box and puts it down, comes over and kisses me and says, “I got what you wanted. You must fill these forms out first…in triplicate. Read everything, and then sign here and here and here. Oh, and here too.” I do as she tells me. Once the paperwork is out of the way, she opens the box lid and removes a set of beautiful delicate wings.
“Turn around so that I can fit them in place, Cal. Won’t hurt a bit…don’t move.”
“Ouch, that stings.” I complain.
“You’re such a baby.”
“How do they look?”
“Beautiful, and so sexy. Now try and vibrate them.”
Well, I try and try, but not a wiggle.
“Concentrate harder. Pretend that you can feel them, and that they are part of you now. That’s better…I can see them move a bit. My, but you’re a fast learner.” She says to encourage me.
This goes on for most of the afternoon. By suppertime I’m ready to give up.
Just then I feel that I’m rising clumsily, but nevertheless rising.
Instantly I’m face down; my head on the ground and my legs flailing above me in mid air. Now I’m spinning out of control like a crazy kid’s toy. Mel is laughing so hard, I think she’s split a gut.
I finally get control and end up sitting near her. My head is still spinning and I feel like throwing up. Mel puts her arm around me and consoles me, “You did just fine. Take a rest. We can continue later or we can simply enjoy the rest of this great day doing nothing at all.”
“This is tiring,” I tell her.”I think I’ll just return back to my normal size. Will I lose my wings, or will they be back when I become small again?”
“No. Each time from now on you’ll have them. But before you change back, can I just hold you for a second or two?” She asks shyly.
After about seven or eight seconds and a couple of quick kisses, she lets me morph back to my human stature…but not before I tell her to look away as I get out of these small duds and into my own clothes. This time she behaves.
The next day, after much time and many minor bruises incurred while banging into bushes and tree branches, I finally am flying straight and upright. I am also more-or-less able to go from point A to point B without zig-zagging off course. Mel is so proud, she hugs herself.
By evening, I’m almost a pro. At least that’s what I tell myself.
“Tomorrow we will try out your swimming abilities while wearing your wings.” She tells me.
“Can’t wait. What about those two creatures in the lake?”
“No need to fear…we have intelligence …they are dumb beasts. In fact, once you master ‘flying’ under water, we can have some fun teasing those morons. That’ll be a hoot…wouldn’t you agree?”
I don’t know what to think, so I just put it out of my mind for the meantime. We’ll just have to wait and see.
As I’m preparing to put together firewood for later, Mel asks, “Now that I’ve seen you my size, aren’t you curious to see me your size?”
My heart leaps as I recall seeing her in my dream. She looked radiant…so real and yet un-earthly.
“Well, Cal, what do you say?”
“Now? You want to do that now?” I ask, somewhat hesitantly…I’m not sure why.
“Yes, now. Why are you so nervous?”
“I don’t know.” I tell her, yet I really do know why, but my heart is holding back from telling my brain.”Ok.”
She goes into my tent, and I hear some rustling. Then she steps out, and what I see takes my breath away. Five foot four, wearing one of my jeans, which are a bit too long for her, and one of my black t-shirts, she looks like a Venus in blue jeans. Her dark black hair, and stunning green eyes look much more out of this world than in that dream I had a few days ago. With a smile on her lips, she stands there, as if daring me to make the first move. The last time I felt like this was when I asked Samantha Williams to dance with me at the school hop in grade seven. I nearly fainted then too.
With a knot in my throat, and shaky knees, I approach Mel…Melissa the Mischievous. She, sensing my nervousness, smiles and meets me half way. She wraps her slender arms around me. I feel her warmth and breathe in her earthy aroma. Her hair smells of fresh pine. My senses reel as she embraces me so tenderly. I feel her hot breath in my ear, as she stands up on her bare toes.
“Do you like what you see, Cal? Am I what you expected?” she coos.
When I finally find my voice, I tell her that if I were to become permanently blind this very instant, I would never in a million years be able to erase her lovely vision from my mind.
“Those are the sweetest words I’ve ever heard,” she says as she kisses my neck just below my ear.
She walks down to the lakeside and begins to gather more driftwood for our fire. I just stand there watching her every movement…it’s like poetry in motion.
“Hey you, aren’t you going to lend a hand, or are you going to stand there all evening with your tongue hanging out?” she laughs. “And can I invite the rest of my folks to this bonfire?” she adds.
“Oh sure, that would be great, Mel. But remember what happened to you last time? If you fall on my tent this time, you might crush me to death.”
“Not funny, Cal…besides, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m a big girl now…more ways than one.”
Soon after, the party has started. The merriment is in full swing. These little folks sure can have a good time.
Mel is sitting with me enjoying the night’s cool crisp air and the smell of wood smoke. There are all kinds of night sounds coming from every direction: night birds, frogs, even a distant drone of an airplane…but no bugs.
“I wonder what your friend back home at your place would say if he saw me?”
“Why not find out? I need to go back soon. So why not come with me?”
“Can I? Oh that would be wonderful!” She is happy as a child who is told that she will be going to the circus.
“When was the last time you were in a big city?” I ask her.
“Let me see…not too long ago. I remember watching a television show about a fat bus driver who had a goofy looking friend who lived in the same building. I think he was a worker down in the sewers.”
“My goodness! That was ‘The Honeymooners’.”
“Yes, that’s the name. Is that still playing?”
“No. If that’s the last time, my dear, you will be in for a culture shock. Things have changed a lot since those fifty years or more.”
She asks, “Do you think I look presentable?”
“Is there any way to make your eyes look smaller?”
“No problem…I can do anything. When can we leave?”
I tell her that I am planning to go in two days - this coming week-end. She is so thrilled that she jumps up and does a small dance. She calls me to join her, but I’m just happy to watch her…she looks so graceful…so childlike, yet she’s old enough to be my great grandmother.
I watch her and I’m truly grateful to be sitting here and enjoying all of this. It’s so magical…the place, the music, the faeries singing and dancing around the fire…and her. I think that I’ve just fallen in love with a faerie princess.

Chapter Nine

In the deep

The next day is as beautiful as always. The sun comes up to greet the new day. I wonder what’s in store for me today.
Mel is back in her old form, sleeping in her usual spot…in my jacket. And, no she didn’t sleep in an abandoned robin’s nest. She only had a small sip of my beer.
She is up before me and has already had her breakfast.
“Time for your next lesson. Swimming and diving. Diving without breaking a wing. Come on sleepy head, have your breakfast and put on your faerie clothes.”
‘What a nag’ I thought to myself, then laughed.
“What’s so funny, Cal?”
“Oh, nothing…nothing at all.” I say trying not to look her in the eye.
Well, I am a natural born student. At the moment, we are swimming under water and I’m doing it effortlessly. I’m even confident enough to take on those giant otters.
Mel says, “Let’s do it.”
So off we go, flying towards the far end of the lake.”Don’t fly so close to the water. This lake has all type of predators: Northern Pike, Muskie, Largemouth Bass and some mighty huge Gar. I’ve seen ducks disappear in one bite.”
In a fraction of a second I am now flying well above the water’s surface. I love to eat fish, but don’t relish the idea of me becoming their meal.
Soon, we spotted them. Two dark shadows just beneath the surface, leaving behind them a wake like some small boat.
“Follow my lead, and don’t do anything foolish, ok?” says Mel, as she dives into the lake.
With my heart beating a mile a minute, I follow suit.
Earlier, I had asked her exactly why we were doing this. She said, “Because it’s fun, plus it produces fear, which in turn produces adrenalin…and that heightens one’s ability to excel…to try even harder.”
As soon as we hit the water the two hairy beasts turn their attention to us. Mel is in front of me leading the attack. I, on the other hand, am trying my best to keep up. Suddenly, the beasts split up. One is heading towards me at a breakneck speed. I look at Mel and notice that she is heading straight at the other one. It looks as if they are going to collide head on. Just at the last second she dives and comes up behind the dumb creature and grabs its tail. Before it has time to slow down, Mel is sitting high on its back…as if it is a bronco. All she needs is a Stetson hat and the picture is complete.
I take cue from her and do likewise, but I miss grabbing its tail, so it makes a u-turn and it all starts over again. This time I go above it, thinking that maybe the beast is smart enough not to allow me the same maneuver. Finally I manage to grasp him by the tail. I’m hanging on for dear life, and I start my ascent up its back. It tries to bite, but cannot turn enough to reach me.
We hang on and ride these giants for an hour or so, until they give up. If only they had a half a brain, they could have tried to unseat their own mate’s riders…but that didn’t occur to either one.
We are getting bored, so up we shoot, back into the clear autumn air. Mel is doing somersaults and squealing with delight. I’m also thrilled…it truly was fun, and no one got hurt, except maybe some pride on the side of those animals.
“That was great!” I tell her.”When can we do it again?”
“Maybe tomorrow…but instead of these dummies, why not ride an eagle? To sit on its neck…feel the strength in those wings…experience the air as it rushes through those mighty feathers…taste the pride in what it lusts for… its Freedom.”
“Wow! Can we actually outsmart an eagle?”
“Cal, don’t ever forget…we possess the superior intelligence, by far.”
The next evening was to be the last night to be spent here. I‘m preparing wood for one more bonfire and Mel is off somewhere collecting more driftwood. She is anxious about our trip back to the city. Seattle is very much the opposite of the tranquil life here. I hope she will like it, even though I believe that in no time she will yearn to be back with her friends and familiar surroundings.
Before twilight I get one more chance to fly about. On top of the tallest tree, I survey the breathtaking view. This lake is huge…can’t understand why it’s not on any map.

Now, the fire is burning brightly, and I make myself small again so that I can enjoy the festivities with all my new friends.
Mel is begging me to dance with her around the fire. Reluctantly I get up the nerve and sure as anything, I’m a dancing fool, enjoying hopping and skipping like the rest of them.
The stars are shining like diamonds in between the smoke-filled sky. Mel pulls me up and we fly high over the bonfire. The sound of merriment from down below soon evaporates into the stillness of the late autumn air. A mild wind is blowing from across the lake. Mel looks so beautiful in the star glow. Her face is like porcelain…her raven tresses glimmering like polished black onyx. And her eyes…those eyes…they are almost fluorescent green…as if they have their own built-in light.
She smiles…and I melt before her radiant pixie face. As we kiss, I believe that our two hearts are beating as one…in exact precision.
“What will my friends say when they lay eyes on this faerie goddess?” I think to myself.

Chapter Ten

In the big city

Next day after packing up Nellybelle, and many tearful hugs and goodbyes, we are ready to depart from this idyllic spot on earth.
Mel is as excited as no-one I’ve ever seen before. She is chattering uncontrollably as we bump along that dirt path.
I feel a little regret about having to leave, but I have a nagging feeling that I will be back.
Before I swing up Seattle way, I decide to return to my friend James, from where I began my trek.
James is a bachelor and is into a lot of dating. He says that his quest is to meet at least one hundred women before he decides to settle down with the right one.
His jaw drops when he answers his door. I introduce Mel to him. He stands there unable to form a proper sentence. “This is Melissa. I met her while camping.
Hello James…you there?”
“What…what did you say her name is? I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Hi, James…I’m Mel. I imprinted on Cal.” She tells him.
“It’s nothing. Not important to you, old pal.” I quickly tell him. Mel just stares at me. I just wink and put my finger to my lips.
“You have to let me know exactly where this camping spot was.”
I tell him, “Maybe next time. We just stopped to say goodbye. I…we are going back home. I’ll come back when I have more time and visit a little longer. Real soon…I promise, and we’ll bend the elbow.”
He was sad to see us leave so soon. I think he was sadder to see Mel go, than me.
By four in the afternoon we are driving up into my parking space.
As we ascend the metal stairs to get to my second floor flat, Mrs. Louwicky , my landlady and neighbor, looks out her window and shouts, “Hey Cal, welcome back. Where have you been? You look good. And who is that fine lady you’re with? She’s a real looker, and a keeper. I wouldn’t throw her back. I thought maybe you were gay.” She laughs.
“Always a kidder, eh, Stella? Oh, by the way, do you think that your daughter can spare some of her clothes. Mel, here, lost everything she owned, and I know Olga is about the same size as Mel.”
“Sure, she won’t mind. She has more clothes than she can wear. Besides, she is away for a few months visiting my brother Stan. He’s in Vancouver, you know. Nice place, Canada. I may go up there myself one day…but just to visit…no more than that.”
We dump all my gear on the floor and I begin to tidy up…I wasn’t expecting to bring a girl here. The last time I did was five, maybe more like six years ago. I was way too busy with studies and work. Yes, I’m a sad case.
“Go over to Stella and pick out some stuff to wear, while I get this mess cleaned up. I’ll fix up the bedroom for you. I can sleep here on the sofa. And pick up something dressy…I want to take you out to a fancy restaurant tonight…or tomorrow night, if you’re too tired. So, go.”
Forty five minutes later she waltzes in with an armful of dresses, pants, tops, and other things that baffle her. “Mrs. Louwicky says that I can keep all these. Her daughter buys clothes and wears them once. Then they just take up room in her huge closet. Olga will be happy that they will be of use to someone else.”
“Do you want to go out tonight? Or do you wish simply to relax, and get settled in?”
“How about if we eat here, rest awhile, talk a bit, then you could show me around your neighborhood, Cal?”
“I like that idea…it’s a plan.”
She starts looking through the pile of clothes Stella donated to her. She picks a matching set of panties and bra and asks me, “What are these?”
“They are to…um…you wear them…oh for Pete’s sake, Mel, figure it out by yourself. Ok?”I say and I change the subject quickly. “What do you wish to eat?”
“Got any crickets, or yummy grasshoppers?” she asks jokingly.
“No, but I can make some BLT sandwiches. I’ll run down to the corner store and pick up some groceries. You can take a bubble bath or shower, if that’s what you prefer.”
I tell her that BLT is bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, and she say it will have to do.
I’m gone for no more than half an hour. When I return, after putting the groceries away, I follow a trail of clothes all the way to the bathroom. Two sneakers, t-shirt, and my Levis. I hear singing and splashing behind the partially shut door.
“Is that you Cal? This is fun. I never had a bubble bath before. Sorry about the mess. I think I used too much soap. The bubbles are everywhere. Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up. Can you pass me some more towels…I used all the ones that were in here…the water overflowed a bit. Sorry again.”
I go fetch some extra towels and pry open the bathroom door a crack and shove the towel through. “Come in. Don’t be shy. I can’t reach them from here.”
I cautiously step in and find my Mel completely covered with soap suds. Only her face is visible. There’s a pyramid of soapy suds on top of her head. She has a huge grin on her lovely wet face. Even like this she is so adorable.
I drop the towels on a chair and leave.
“Don’t be too long. I’m fixing the supper now. Should be ready very soon.”
“Ok.” She sings out, as I hear more splashing.
Supper is done. The table set. I hear bare footsteps scurrying into the bedroom. Soon she emerges wearing the bra upside down and the panties inside out…and nothing else.
I gulp and rush over to explain a few things to her.
Soon she’s back wearing a nice skirt and top…almost matching.
She lifts up the skirt to ask me if she had put on the underthings correctly. I tell her…’Yes’.
What am I to do with her!
Outside the air is a little cool but not unpleasant. As we are walking, Mel is showing her surprise at all the fancy window dressings. Things she’d never seen or imagined before.
“So much stuff that is unnecessary. Why do people need all this? Like that electric mixer, when a good arm will do fine. Electric this and that. Electric tooth brushes…what a waste of money and energy. And all those clothes. I’m very content with just a few.
Soon we near a shopping mart…a huge one, probably the biggest in town. As we enter, Mel’s jaw drops.
“My goodness, this is crazy! Can’t folks live simply anymore?”
I tell her that as a consumer society, mankind has become obsessed with material possessions. One is not enough. If it’s a few months old, they need a newer, bigger, fancier and faster one. The trash piles are reaching sky high. Even before something is passé another one is waiting to replace it. It’s a vicious cycle, which humans have created, and can’t get off of.
“The cars are nice…much more colorful and streamlined,” she says.”I like that one.”
“That’s a Maserati Gran Turismo…an Italian job.”
“Is it expensive? Can you get one?”She asks.
“That car costs about one hundred and twenty thousand. The price of a nice small home,” I tell her.
She drops the subject very quickly.
After walking awhile, we take a rest at a small park and sit near a fountain. She runs her hand over the water and looks at me. Under the halo of the street light she looks angelic. I move closer and place my hand on hers. It feels as if electricity jumps from her smooth skin to mine.
She just smiles and puts head on my shoulder. Next she asks me if I’m glad that we met. I tell her that in all my life, I never imagined that one day I would be sitting here with the most gorgeous and unique woman in the world. She is pleased to hear that, and gives my hand a warm squeeze.
The walk back to my flat is as if I am stepping on clouds.
Back at my place, I tell her that she can have the bedroom, and I’ll take the couch.
“No, it’s your room. Besides I prefer the couch. I’m used to small places where I can curl up.”
There’s no arguing with her, but I have an idea.
“Why not do as we did in the tent? I’ll take the double bed, and you can have my jacket.”
“That’s a wonderful suggestion!” She is jumping up and down like a school child.
I have a large soft chair not far from my bed, and I place my coat neatly on it.
When the evening gets close to midnight, I am comfortably tucked in. She, too, is nestled in cozily under the window. She loves that jacket of mine.
Nearing one a.m., I tell her goodnight. She yawns and bids me likewise.
I can’t fall asleep. There’s too much on my mind.
Erelong I hear that familiar purr coming from Mel’s corner of the room. I eventually drift off.
A couple of hours later I feel a movement and a quiet sound behind me. The sheets are shifting, and I feel a soft knee up against my leg. Next, a warm breath on my neck sends shivers down my back, as an arm slowly reaches over and rests on my chest. It feels so delicate. I don’t move. I pretend that I’m still fast asleep.
I have no doubt as to who it is.
Not a minute passes before that soft snoring commences again.
Is this a dream? Or is this real? Here I am, in my bed with a sleeping beauty. This has truly got to be a faerie tale.
I, too fall back to sleep not long after.

Chapter Eleven

Some excitement downtown

Precisely at eight o’clock I wake suddenly. The room is empty. The day has begun like every other day in the city. Cars honking, airplanes thundering by overhead, loud music coming from the apartment below me, a dog barking down in the street, and somebody whistling for a taxi. Just your normal cacophony of sounds welcoming a new and busy day. Monday…to be exact.
Mel is nowhere to be found, so I panic. You would too, if your friend who is unfamiliar and foreign to this city is on the loose.
I look outside my door to see if she’s there, but not a sign of her. I hear laughter coming from above me. I glance up, shielding my eyes from the sun, and see her sitting with her legs dangling off the roof’s edge.
“What on earth are you doing up there? And how did you…you changed after you flew up there…didn’t you? What, if I dare ask, are you wearing?”
“Oh, Cal, you worry too much. I threw a pair of jeans and a shirt up to the roof before I flew up. So there,” she says as she sticks her tongue out at me.
“Come down before someone thinks that you’re a jumper. I’ll make us some breakfast, while you clean up. That roof is dirty.”
She’s done washing up just as I finish setting the table. Bacon, and eggs over easy, and toast with strawberry jam. Orange juice on the side. That’s what I call a great start to what seems like the beginning of a good day.
“This is delicious…I’m going to miss this after I go back to my home and friends.”
I put down my fork and look at her, thinking that it’s true…she will be going back to her natural surroundings, where she belongs. The thought saddens me. I get up and walk to my window and merely stare out into the street below, seeing nothing. My thoughts are on my losing Melissa. Although I tried not to believe it, it is inevitable.
I go back to finish my meal for which I’ve lost my appetite. I don’t let on as to how I hurt inside. Fortunately she doesn’t see or sense the great pain deep within my beating heart.

Earlier that day I made reservations at Nishino’s. One of my favorite Japanese restaurants in town. The seafood and vegetable tempuras are out of this world. Shrimp, snow crab, squid, whitefish and an assortment of fresh vegetables fried in tempura butter always had me going back there.
Sometimes I would have the New York steak with teriyaki sauce just for a change. This time I was planning to share a nice plate of oysters on a half shell with Mel. I know she loved raw fish.
At the moment we were At the Blake Museum of Natural History. This place is over one hundred years old, and has a massive collection of about twelve million artifacts, of anthropology, geology and zoology. The zoology interests Mel the most.
She wants to visit the Seattle Aquarium next, which is not too far away, but I tell her that it can wait. It’s getting close to our reservation. “We can take in the aquarium tomorrow.” I tell her, as we head off towards East Madison Ave.
As we wait for our main course, we split the oysters and I order a Shirley Temple for Mel and a Bloody Caesar for me. I didn’t tell her that her drink was nonalcoholic. I was being cautious.
It’s a pleasure watching her chew up the oysters. I tell her that most folks just sprinkle some lemon on them and swallow them whole, but she prefers it her way.
The steaming plates arrive and my mouth is already watering.
Mel digs in without any hesitation. “Mmm, this is so good! You can have the vegetables, Cal, “she tells me. “I only like meat, fruits and berries.
“Well, ok, but try the deep fried cauliflower, you’ll like it.”
She does, but shakes her head. “Not bad, but you can have it.”
I see that she’s glad we came here.
Soon the waitress comes around to see if we want some dessert. “The Boston cream pie is to die for, “she lets us know.
Mel looks at me and asks if we could share one, but has me explain to her what the waitress meant by ‘to die for’.
I laugh and explain that it just means that it’s really good.
When it arrives Mel tries a small sample. Then her beautiful eyes light up. “This is great! I feel like making myself tiny and diving right in.”
I chuckle as I’m picturing this in my mind. So cute! I reach over and wipe the excess cream from her upper lip.
Not long after we leave the place, we head off to find Nellybelle. I had to park her around the block. The restaurant’s parking was full. It always is, no matter what day of the week it happens to be.
I decide on a shortcut through the short alleyway to the next street.
As we turn the corner a dark figure comes up and asks for a light.
“Sorry, I don’t smoke,” I tell him.
“That’s ok. I don’t either, “he says, as he nears Mel. She quickly moves closer to me. Just them another guy steps out of the shadows. He is tall and powerful looking.
“What is it that you want? I have some cash. Take it and leave,” I tell him as I go for my wallet. There is no way I can take these two on in any fair fight. Running is an option, but we are helmed in.
“That a mighty fine looking lady you got there, buddy,” he says as he pulls out a huge knife. “Hey Joe, what do you think, this gal should be fun for the evening, eh?’ he asks his buddy.
I begin to fear for the worst, not knowing what they are planning to do to us. I start to protest, but his pal already has his blade next to Mel back.
“You got a debit card, fella? We could use some cash. We are plumb out of it.”
I tell him that if he lets us leave quietly, I’ll give him the card along with the pin number.
He takes my wallet, and while laughing, he tells me to shut up.
I have no choice. I fear for Mel life.
With the knife at Mel’s back they escort us roughly to a huge older car, and proceed to put both of us into its trunk.
Just as Joe is pointing for me to join Mel, I notice a familiar looking hand gun in its holster under his black jacket.
“Are you a cop?”I ask, as I recognize the gun. It’s a standard police revolver. All the Seattle police have them. My uncle Bob is a retired cop, and he showed me his not too long ago.
“Shut the hell up, and mind your business,” he says as he pushes me into the car.
As the car starts to move, I tell Mel that these two are probably dirty cops.
There’s a gap between the two back seats of the car. I can’t see those two through it, but I can plainly hear them.
Their plan is to break into a nearby grocery store and use its ATM machine and take some booze, cigarettes and cash if there is any.
I hear” I have told Sam that he should install an alarm system, but that Chinaman is way too stubborn and cheap. Well, this is gonna be a lesson he won’t forget.”
“Mel, are you ok?” I ask her, fearing that she may be traumatized.
“Yes, I’m alright Cal, and I have a plan. While they’re busy robbing the store, we can make ourselves small, and fit through this crack without any problem. Once we are outside we can simple fly back to your place.”
She goes through first and I follow. Then it’s through the car’s open window and up towards the roof. I land on it, and call her to my side. “I have a better idea. I want my wallet back, and I hate to see them get away with this crime. I’m sure that it’s not their first time committing a crime. Also, I hate to think what they would have done to you and me. We need to stop them. They should be caught red-handed.”
“I agree,” she says as we fly down to that broken back door.
The lights are off, and I see them inside with flashlights.
Without any warning, Mel is inside. I swiftly do the same.
“Hey Joe, did you hear that? Sounds like some big bug.” He turns the beam in my direction, just as I duck behind a shelf.
“You’re losing it Fred. Starting to hear thing now, eh? Just get the cash from that machine, while I get us some Jack Daniels and smokes. Just then Mel pushes over some heavy cans off the top of the shelf just over Fred. The cans hit the guy square on top of his head. He crumples to the floor unconscious. His pal rushes over to see what happened.
While he is occupied trying to revive his partner, I change back to my former self and I go to the back of the counter and I find the button that sends a silence signal to the nearest police station.
Joe is about to flee the scene while carrying his friend on his shoulders. As he is passing me I take the store’s broom that I see propped up near the wall beside me, and without being seen in the dark, I shove it between Joe’s legs. Together with the weight on his shoulders and his momentum he hit the door pretty hard. To make sure that he stays down, I heave a fifty pound bag of rice onto his head. I then grab my wallet and race out of there with Mel in pursuit.
Outside, I hide my wallet behind some bushes and quickly change back to my tiny size. I’ll retrieve it tomorrow when the coast is clear.
Mel says that it’s too bad we have to leave our clothes in the trunk.
“That’s ok, there’s more back in my place, and if you need Mrs. Louwicky can give you more.”
As we soar above the roof tops we see two or three cars with sirens blaring and lights flashing red and blue. Won’t they all be surprised?
Back at my flat Mel is ecstatic. “That was fun! Yes, you and I make a great team. Don’t you think? We should become private eyes. Nothing will stop us. We are the new and improved Dynamic Duo. Mel and Cal.”
I never seen her so excited.

The next morning while we are having our coffee, we are watching the morning news. Guess what’s on. The police chief is relating the mysterious circumstances revolving around the capture of two of their own.
And also the unexplained find of a set of women’s and men’s clothes in the trunk of those two officer’s vehicle. “The two men are not saying a word about where those clothes came from, but it seems they are in shock,” the newscaster went on to say.
Mel is doubled over with laughter.
“Mel, we need to go back and get my wallet. Do you want to grab a bite to eat somewhere later? We can visit the aquarium right after that.”

At the aquarium, Mel is totally amazed at the colors and variety of all the fish and other sea creatures. She wants to jump into the tank and see these up close. I tell her to behave. “I’ll tell you what, maybe one day we can take a trip to one of the Caribbean islands, and there we can both swim with the fish. What do you think about that? Sounds good?”
“Yes, oh yes! That would be so wonderful, Cal! Yes!”
“Well then, we can start saving for it now. Just the airfare is expensive. Although we can drive down to Key West and rent or charter a boat from there.”
“I have a better idea. We can fly to there as a group for the winter…all of us; shouldn’t take too long. What do you say?”
Why can’t I think so logically? “You are a genius, Mel! That is a great plan. I will have to make arrangements here before we can do that,” I tell her. She jumps into my arms and gives a big hug.

Chapter Twelve

The recurring nightmare

It’s a gorgeous day. The sun is shining brightly as birds sing. The leaves are turning from green to yellow and red. A small red squirrel is digging or burying something, making a racket in the dried fallen leaves around a large oak tree nearby.
I can feel that soon this place will be under a blanket of white snow. Soon will be time for warm coats and boots.
“Mel, have I ever told you about the nightmares that’s been haunting me for the last several months?”
“No, tell me about them, maybe since I can enter your dreams, I may be able to get rid of them for you.”
“It’s always the same one. Sometimes it may vary a little, but essentially they always end up with me dead to the world, yet I’m still conscious. I’m helpless with no-one to hear me yelling for help.”
Mel says, “Tonight, whether you have it or not, I will enter your dream world and try to evoke that nightmare. If it works, I’ll look around and see exactly what or who is causing them. You may feel the same uneasy feelings that accompany those previous ones, but be reassured that I’ll be there to ease those fears.”

The time has come. I’m under the sleeping bag, and I’m ready, although very nervous. I try to fall asleep. Mel is in her usual spot, and she’s pretending not to be there or be watching. Sleep comes slowly, and soon I’m off on what proposes to be an interesting night.

I’m back in that dark room. Outside the stars and moon are gone as unusual. I’m getting that heavy panicky feeling from deep within me. I try to turn and run, but everything is in slow motion. I pull on the door handle, and with great effort the door opens. Again I get the urge to step outside, and it feel like a strong hand pulling at me, “saying, ‘Come Calvin, you know that you really want to be out here. It’s perfectly safe.’” I fight the urge with all my might, but the tugging is stronger than I am. Slowly it pulls to the dark and gloomy opening. I resist, but I’m losing the battle. Suddenly behind me a warm friendly hand takes a hold of my shirt and yanks me back into the safety of the room. I try to see who that can be, but I only see a faint light hovering nearby.
Next, that light flies out that door into to gloom, and the door slams shut with a loud deafening bang. “I’m lost!" I cry. “And now, she too is gone.” I panic, trying to still my pounding heart. Slowly, painfully I return to the center of that dreary room, and I sit and wait on that bare, worn wooden floor.
After what seems like an eternity, I feel a pair of soft, tender arms encircle me from behind. I turn to see the most beautiful face in the world looking lovingly back at me. “Melissa! It’s you!” I cry. She holds me and consoles me, saying,”Everything from now on will be alright, my dear Cal. You can wake up now, and I’ll explain it all to you.”

On waking, I thank her by giving her a great big hug. She begins by explaining, “The reason for those dreams is that somewhere in your past you lost a good friend, who overdosed on drugs.” She tells me that although I suppressed that event, it keeps coming back in the form of a bad dream. “In the dream you assimilate the place of that friend, and you try to convince yourself and others that you/he is not really dead. I fixed it by putting the notion into your subconscious that it’s alright to let go. Your friend is gone and there is nothing you can do for him. It’s out of your hands.”
It all makes sense to me the way Mel explained it. I believe that from now on I will not have to worry about that nightmare ever again. Thanks to my little friend.
“By the way, where did you disappear to when you flew out into that darkness?”
“I went out to find the ‘demon’ that has been tormenting you, and to make sure that it never tries to pull you into that ‘darkness of total despair’. Once you go into it, it’s extremely difficult go get out.”
“Demon! What demon?”
“Just an expression, my dear,” she patted my hand. “It's just an expression.”

Chapter Thirteen

Decisions, decisions

As we sit up in a tall majestic pine tree, I hold Mel close to me. I then realize that I’m dreaming again. But this time it’s a pleasant one.
We sit for awhile as the gentle wind blows past. We see a pair of eagle playing with playing in the high airstream way up in the distance. The sun is shimmering off the blue azure lake. A small iridescent colored hummingbird nears, and checks us out, then whirrs away as quickly as it came.
“I didn’t know that these tiny birds flew up so high,” I tell Melissa.
She stays silent, probably worried as to why I want to talk to her.
“Mel, look at me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and I’ve had to make many decisions. And many factors to consider. Don’t look so sad. I have known you for a very brief amount of time, and I don’t know what it is, but you have reached my heart as no-one has ever done before. Maybe it has to do with that ’imprinting’ that you mentioned the first day we met. Or possibly it’s just you…your fantastic personality. But whatever it is, I cannot bear to live a single day without you.
So there are only two choices to make. Either you stay here in Seattle with me, or I move in with you and the other faeries. Those are the two options. I could see that you very much enjoy the city, but I can also see that you pine to the freedom of the great outdoors.
So, that being said, I want…no, I need to be with you. It’s the outdoors for me. Are you happy?”
In reply, she throws her arms around me. She knocks us off that branch and we crash past all the lower branches to land noisily onto a bed of dead pine needles. I think I picked up a few empty birds’ nests on my way down. Mel landed heavily on me.
“I stand up and as I’m brushing off all the pine needles and dead branches, I ask her again, ”Are you happy?”
“Are you daft? Of course I’m thrilled. Why wouldn’t I be, silly?” She says as she throws her loving arm around me. “Yes, I’m happy as never before.”
I wake from my dream to find her wrapped around me. Her eyes are greener than ever, as she looks into my blue ones.
I tell her of another plan, a surprise that I’ve been thinking of.
“I needed to see your reaction first, but now I need to ask you this.”
I get down on my knee before this dazzling beauty and as I take hand trembling hand, I ask, “Mel, Melissa the Mischievous, will you marry me?”
“Yes! Yes! And, yes!” she cries.
I stand up and give her my grandmother’s ring, which I’ve been saving for such as a grand occasion as this. She accepts it, and embraces me as never before, sobbing all the while.
Later after the excitement died off a little, we talk about the wedding. Should it be here or in the woods, with all her tiny friends present?
She tells me that Vespa, the Grand Faerie, has the power to marry us. She’ll get Wanda to do all of the arrangements. She will be thrilled.
“What about such thing as ‘maid of honor’ and ‘best man’, do you have those?” I ask.
“Yes, I think you should ask Fred the Fearless. He will be honored to be your best man. I know exactly who will be the maid of honor. That will be Princess Melrose, we call her Mel the Amazon. She is taller than all the other females in our group. She has beautiful dark hair and lovely dark eyes to match. At the moment she is visiting friends and family down in Arizona. I’ll have someone send her a message.”
I told her my plans.
I will keep the place here. Mrs. Louwicky will take care of it, and once every month or two we’ll come in to do business and go out on the town. I’ll submit stories or article to my boss. And if we are somewhere far, I’ll just e-mail them in.
As we sit here, making plans and dreaming about what it will be like, I ask her, “Why aren’t there any children around?”
“The story is that because our people are so closely united, that the childbearing process has reached its limits,” she tells me. “But if someone from here were to marry another from, let’s just say, Africa or China, the possibility of conceiving would be great…not guaranteed, but very possible,” she adds.
“Did you ever wish for children?”
“Yes, I thought about it often. My dream is to have three, one handsome boy and two gorgeous little faerie girls.” As she tells me this, I see a certain gleam in her eyes.
“I even gave them names already. My son would be called Sunflower. That’s short for Sunflower Petals. One of my daughters will be Lavender, short for Fields of Lavender, and my other daughter will be Ivory, also short for Ivory Blossoms. What do you think?”
I don’t answer immediately, my thoughts a far away. I’m imagining three bumble bee size winged baby faeries buzzing around our happy home. The concept of this brings tears of joy to my eyes.
She sees this and holds me ever tighter. I love Melissa more and more as each hours pass by.

My Melissa the Mischievous.


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 29.09.2010

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